Thursday, December 1, 2011

'Jesus is the reason for the season!'

Sorry there has not been a post earlier than this one!  We have had no cable or internet for three whole days (such a weird feeling!), so I've been unable to blog!  Very frustrating!  Anyway, moving on, we started our month-long celebration of Christmas, commencing with studying the reason for the season -- celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus!  Here is what we did to honor it:

After our reading about the birth of Christ, we made the paper Nativity play set as seen at http://www.makingfriends.com/biblecrafts/nativity_scene.htm.  First, I printed out all the figures from the same, adhered them to cardstock so they'd be sturdier, then cut out each one.  You'll also need a cardboard box (shoe box-sized), an empty paper towel roll, and some straw, or the like.  (We used dried decorator's moss.)
Cut your paper towel tube into little rings, like below.
 Using some glue, place each ring behind each figure so that it will stand upright ...
... like Joseph is here.
(We added a paperclip to each figure and its ring until they dried thoroughly.)
Then, glue the star and angel onto your box.
 Add your straw.
 Once everything is dry, your Nativity scene is ready to play with!
'Jesus is the reason for the season!'
After that, we made the baby Jesus paper bag craft as seen at http://biblekidsfunzone.com/themes/adnativity1.html.  For it, you'll need a small picture of a sleeping baby (I found mine online, by typing in 'baby Jesus clipart'), a brown paper lunch bag, crayons, scissors, a scrap of fabric, and something for straw (we used crinkly paper for wrapping).
 First, color your baby Jesus, being sure to match his blanket to your piece of fabric.
 Next, shorten the top of your bag by cutting off about 3-4 inches from the top.  Then, using a pencil, draw an outline of a basket handle at the top of your shortened bag, like below.
 Cut it out to look like our bag, below, being sure to keep the bag folded up while cutting.
 Your bag should look like this when opened.
 Add your nesting material to the bag.
Cut out your baby Jesus to fit inside the bag, place him on the hay, and wrap your small scrap of fabric around him for his blanket.  Glue your basket's handles together.
Baby Jesus, in his cradle!  (She was so pleased with Him, she carried the basket around all day!)
Later, for snack, we made the 'A Light Dessert' out of Family Fun magazine, December/January 2010, page 112.  For the same, we used some small flower-shaped cookies, rolled wafer cookies (the article used Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes, we used creme de Piroulines, same cookie, just about $3 cheaper per container), white decorating gel, and an orange-sugared gummy candy.  The flower-shaped cookies will be the base of your edible candles.
Using the decorating gel, adhere your rolled cookies to the base, then use again to make 'wax drips' at the top of the roll, like a dripping taper candle.  Next, cut your orange gummy candy into little flames shapes and stick to the top of your rolled cookies.
 Yummy edible candles!
 Unfortunately, mine didn't turn out as pretty as the magazine's, but they required more ingredients and I always try to save money where I can.  For one, they used a larger flower-shaped cookie under the smaller one, they used red decorating gel to embellish the base, and instead of an orange gummy candy, they used cut mini marshmallows dipped in orange decorating sugar for their flames.  That means they used 4 more ingredients than we did and spent $3 more for their rolled cookies.  I admire the look of theirs, but I admire my grocery receipt more!
 Mags didn't notice the difference!  She loved our version!

We also:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of out God and Me book for today's date, 'Clean-up Time!'  Then, we read John 6:5-13 together.
2.  We read 'An Angel Visits Mary' (pages 266-70) and 'Baby Jesus is Born' (pages 271-6) out of our The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories.
Christmas ('Jesus is the reason for the season!'):
1.  We read The Christmas Story by Jane Werner.
2.  We read The Story of Christmas by Barbara Cooney.
3.  We listened to the God Bless the Child CD that we borrowed from the library.
4.  We listened to the following songs from our Bible Songs for Kids: Volume 3 CD:
     1)  'Praise Ye the Lord, Hallelujah' (track 11);
     2)  'He is Lord' (track 12); and
     3)  'Come Bless the Lord' (track 17).
5.  We sang the following songs from those seen at http://preschoolteachersresource.blogspot.com/2008/12/christian-christmas-preschool.html:
     1)  'Mary and Joseph Went to Bethlehem';
     2)  'Mary Had a Baby Boy'; and
     3)  'Twinkle Christmas Star.'
6.  We watched the Brainy Baby: Jingle Bells: Celebrating the Magic of Christmas DVD that we borrowed from the library.
7.  We started our Advent calendar.
Letter Jj Review:
1.  We read My "j" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure.
2.  We read Jj by Kelly Doudna.
3.  We looked at the Jj letter page we made last year to review words that start with J.  We also looked at our picture dictionary under Jj.
4.  We completed a dot-to-dot uppercase letter J and lowercase letter j.
5.  We completed pages 30-31 of our Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read Pre-K Level Workbook, which required her to color the uppercase J and lowercase j, and identify the pictures in the group that begin with the j sound.

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